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Whiskey Row on Main St in Louisville opening nations biggest bourbon bar - Doc’s Bourbon Room

The owner behind Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar is opening a new concept restaurant on Whiskey Row — and it will have thousands of bourbon and whiskey varieties to choose from.

The restaurant’s co-owner, Ted Bertuca, will open Doc’s Bourbon Room at 129 W. Main St., right next door to Doc Crow’s.

The new concept aims to be the nation’s biggest whiskey bar, strengthening the brand’s focus on education by not only offering guided tastings, but also workshops on history and craft, according to a news release. The approximately 80-seat restaurant will serve shared plates and desserts and house a full-service coffee shop.

Doc’s Bourbon Room will be an extension of the Doc Crow’s brand, while providing a distinctly different experience.

“It was an incredible opportunity.” Bertuca said in the release. “Kentucky is the epicenter of bourbon, and we wanted to create a space that does the culture justice. We already have such a strong foundation at Doc Crow’s. It made sense to build on that success.”

Doc Crow’s boasts over 100 different varieties of bourbon and whiskey, while Doc’s Bourbon Room plans to hit in the thousands. It will serve curated flights, tastes and full pours. Though bourbon is in the restaurant’s name, a comprehensive scotch and whiskey list will round out its beverage program, along with curated wine, beer and cocktail menus.

The new restaurant won’t be serving BBQ and raw oysters (what the long-established Doc Crow’s is known for). It will take an elevated twist on classic pub fare. Beef tartare and lamb flatbread will be featured alongside fingerling poutine and fresh baked pretzels.

“We hope that guests will move fluidly between the restaurants starting the evening with delicious starters and a drink or two before heading to Doc Crow’s for dinner — or ending at Doc’s Bourbon Room for dessert,” Bertuca said. “The two will complement one another and make space for the growth we’ve been seeing in Doc Crow’s and the Louisville market.”

Bertuca Hospitality Group LLC purchased Doc Crow’s in November 2018, having been partial owners of its sister restaurant in Nashville, Tenn., for several years, and began expanding almost immediately.

In spring 2019, the company began leasing a private event space in Whiskey Row Lofts, Doc’s Gallery, to expand its options for larger parties. When El Barrio Tequila and Whiskey Bar closed in early 2019, plans for reinventing the space were already underway, the release continued.

Construction began in late summer and will wrap up as the new year approaches. The restaurant intends to hold its grand opening Feb. 5, 2020.

Credit: Louisville Business First

Haley Cawthon, Reporter Dec 23, 2019

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